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Published on : Thursday, August 11, 2016
The Malta Tourism Authority is proud to announce its financial support of the Aula Capitularis Museum in Birkirkara. By providing its backing, the MTA shall be aiding Il-Hbieb tat-Tempju Sant’Elena to complete a museum which covers the cultural and religious heritage of Birkirkara and the Collegiate Basilica of St Helen.
An agreement formalising the cooperation between MTA and Il-Hbieb tat-Tempju Sant’Elena – a registered NGO – was signed on Wednesday 10th August at the Collegiata Basilica Sant’Elena in Birkirkara by MTA CEO Mr Paul Bugeja, in the presence of MTA Chairman Dr Gavin Gulia and Minister for Tourism, Hon Dr Edward Zammit Lewis.
One of the main aims behind the creation of the Aula Capitularis Museum was to promote religious and cultural heritage to both locals as well as foreign visitors. Cultural heritage at the museum would be appreciated through the preservation and exhibition of artefacts of historical and artistic value.
Furthermore, the museum is expected to make Birkirkara more attractive from a tourism perspective. Whereas at present this central Maltese town is not considered amongst the foremost tourism destinations on the island, despite having a number of places of interest, this museum may contribute to start putting Birkirkara on the tourism map. Over time, this could potentially lead to more foreign guests choosing to stay in the area, making use of accommodation and catering establishments in or around town, and discovering a different and perhaps more authentic Malta than if they opt for the trendier coastal resorts.
The MTA CEO, Mr. Paul Bugeja said that “When the association approached us for our support, we thought that it would be a good way to promote tourism in areas which are not normally associated with tourism, which forms part of the strategy to distribute tourism benefits to non-tourism zones. Moreover, since cultural and religious tourism tends to favour the quieter shoulder months, having more of these attractions will strengthen our product offer in this regard, and help us better address the issue of seasonality”. Mr. Bugeja concluded by thanking Il-Hbieb tat-Tempju Sant’Elena for their initiative, as well as the MTA staff involved in making this project come to life.
The Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis stated that “We are actively working towards promoting more local activities in and around the Maltese villages especially within the shoulder months to ensure that tourists and visitors experience the unique Maltese traditions and customs. The excellent proposal by Il-Hbieb tat-Tempju Sant’Elena to open a Museum at the Collegiata Basilica Sant’Elena in Birkirkara is surely in line with this important objective. Our rich, diverse, religious and cultural offer has not only helped to differentiate us from our competitors, but has also helped us reduce the negative effects of seasonality and to improve the geographical spread of our tourism. We must continue working on this cultural aspect and strengthen our image as a sophisticated destination that can offer the charms and attractions of a Mediterranean archipelago, underscored by a vibrant local community with a very rich history. In this manner, we will ensure that the benefits of tourism are enjoyed by all.”